Editor’s Letter: Thank You, Next

The May 2019 issue of Sharp, featuring cover star Pierce Brosnan, is out now.

If, like me, you’re a Blue Jays fan, you’re already well acquainted with Marcus Stroman. You know him as the hot-shot upstart, jumping and fist-pumping his way through every game with a kind of exuberance rarely seen on the baseball field — or anywhere else, for that matter.

You may be less familiar with Marcus Stroman as the studied, thoughtful leader he’s quietly become. At only 27, he’s now one of the older players in the Blue Jays clubhouse, a seasoned veteran with hard-earned knowledge to share. When I met him one day in March, I was genuinely struck by the way he’d embraced that new role. What I found was a man at a turning point: still fiery and youthful, but eager to take the next step in an already impressive career — whatever that may entail. He’s thinking far beyond his next start, all the way to a World Series ring and, even, a fashion label bearing his personal motto “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart” — a rewarding side-hustle for now, but who knows what’s on deck?

As far as I can tell, this moment in Stroman’s life marks an inflection point at one end on the long arc of a career. Towards the other end, albeit in a very different field, there’s our cover star, Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan has already had the kind of career most actors can only dream of. He came to prominence in the early 1980s with a hit TV show, Remington Steele, then managed to make the transition to full-fledged movie star through the next two decades, including four excellent James Bond films. (For most of my generation, he remains the one true Bond.) Now, at 65, he’s reinventing himself again, making his first return to television in 30 years in what might be his darkest, grittiest role ever.

Where his story dovetails with that of Stroman and other young, ambitious men is in his unrelenting drive to do more, make more, and to keep moving along that arc. Having lived a life at times both charmed and turbulent, Brosnan continues to create — to lace up his shoes every day and go to work, confident in what he has accomplished but never so fully satisfied as to stop. So what’s next? How straight a line is there from Bond to, say, Lear? Put me down for tickets now, whether it’s tomorrow or another couple of decades away.

This career arc is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Most of us (statistically, anyway) fit somewhere in the middle — which can be a daunting place to inhabit. It’s easy to lose sight of just how long and varied our own unique arcs can be. That’s why it’s nice to see, here in these pages, two men so poised and polished at either end. They’re both, in their own ways and at their own speeds, reminders of how to make the most of every opportunity, and how to bend your own arc to something like your will. After all, the next step is inevitable. So make it a good one.

Peter Saltsman